Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

been rendered frustrate by his enemics : that if he should be brought to a battle the next day, it would please him of his great mercy to grant him the victory, as his trust was only in him, and in the right which he had given him.' Being thus armed with faith, about midnight he laid himself upon a pallet or mattress to take a little repose: but he arose again betimes and heard mass, with his son the young prince, and received absolution, and the body and blood of his Redeemer, as did the prince also, and most of the lords and others who were so disposed.»–Barnes.

Thus also before the battle of Agincourt o after prayers and supplications of the king, his priests, and people, done with great devotion, the king of England in the morning very early set forth his hosts in array.” —Stowe.

Note 174, page 42, col. 2.
The shield of dignity.

The roundel. A shield too weak for service, which

was borne before the general of an army.

Note 175, page 43, col. 1.
They might meet the battle.

The conduct of the English on the morning of the battle of Crecy is followed in the text. “ All things being thus ordered, every lord and captain under his own banner and pennon, and the ranks duly settled, the valorous young king mounted on a lusty white hobby, and with a white wand in his hand, rode between his two marshals from rank to rank, and from one battalia unto another, exhorting and encouraging every man that day to defend and maintain his right and honour: and this he did with so chearful a countenance, and with such sweet and obliging words, that even the most faint-hearted of the army were sufficiently assured thereby. By that time the English were thus prepared: it was nine o'clock in the morning, and then the king commanded them all to take their refreshment of meat and drink, which being done, with small disturbance they all repaired to their colours again, and then laid themselves in their order upon the dry and warm grass, with their bows and helmets by their side, to be more fresh and vigorous upon the approach of the enemy.” —Joshua Barnes.

The English before the battle of Azincour a fell prostrate to the ground, and committed themselves to God, every of them tooke in his mouth a little piece of earth, in remembrance that they were mortall and made of earth, as also in remembrance of the holy communion.”—Stowe.

Note 176, page 43, col. 2. To see the pennons rollin; their long waves Before the gale, and banners broad and bright. The pennon was long, ending in two points, the banner square. & Un seigneur n'etoit banneret et me pouvoit porter le banniere quarrée, que lors qu'il pouvoit entretenir a ses depens un certain nombre de clicvaliers et d'Ecuyers, avec leur suite a la guerre : jusques-la son etendard avoit deux queues ou fanons, et, quand il devenoit plus puissant, son souverain coupoit lui-meme les fanons de son etendard, pour le rendre quarré. » — Comte de Tressan. An incident before the battle of Nagera exemplifies this. “As the two armies approached near together, the prince went over a little hill, in the descending

whereof he saw plainly his enemies marching toward him : wherefore when the whole army was come over this mountain, he commanded that there they should make an halt, and so fit themselves for fight. At that instant the lord John Chandos brought his ensign folded up, and effered it to the prince, saving, ‘Sir, here is my guidon: I request your highness to display it abroad, and to give me leave to raise it this dav as my banner: for I thank God and your highness, I have lands and possessions sufficient to maintain it withall. Then the prince took the pennon, and having cut off the tail. made it a square banner, and this done, both he and king Don Pedro for the greater honour, holding it between their hands displayed it abroad, it being or, a sharp pile gules: and then the prince delivered it unto the lord Chandos again, saving, “Sir John, behold here is your banner. God send you much joy and honour with it.' And thus being made a knight banneret, the lord Chandos returned to the head of his men, and said, ‘Here, gentlemen, behold my banner and yours. Take and keep it, to your honour and mine.' And so they took it with a shout, and said by the grace of God and St George they would defend it to the best of their powers. But the banner remained in the hands of a gallant English esquire named william Allestry, who bore it all that dav, and acquitted himself in the service right honourably.” Barnes.

Note 177, page 43, col. 2. Widames. This title frequently occurs in the French Chroni. cles; it was peculiar to France. “ the vidame or vicedominus being to the bishop in his temporals as the vicecomes or vicount anciently to the earl, in his judicials.” Peter Heylyn.

Note 178, page 43, col. 2.
And silken surcoats to the mid-day sun
Glittering.

Joshua Barnes seems to have been greatly impressed with the splendour of such a spectacle. “It was a glorious and ravishing sight, no doubt,” says he, “to behold these two armies standing thus regularly embattled in the field, their banners and standards waving in the wind, their proud horses harbed, and kings, lords, knights, and esquires richly armed, and all shining in their surcoats of satin and embroidery.”

Thus also at Poictiers, a there you might have beheld a most beautiful sight of fair harness, of shining steel. feathered crests of glittering helmets, and the rich embroidery of silken surcoats of arms, together with golden standards, banners, and pennons gloriously moving in the air.”

And at Nagera « the sun being now risen, it was a ravishing sight to behold the armies, and the sun reflecting from their bright steel and shining armour. For in those days the cavalry were generally armed in mail or polished steel at all points, and besides that, the nobility wore over their armour rich surtouts of silk and satin embroidery, whereon was curiously sticht or beaten, the arms of their house, whether in colour or metal.”

Note 170, page 43, col. 2. And their dear country's weal. Nos ancestres, et notamment du temps de la guerre des Anglois, en combats solemuels et journées assignees, se mettoient la plus-part du temp tous a pied ; pour ne se fier a autre chose qu'à leur force propre et viguer de luer courage et de luer membres, de chose si chere que l'honneur et la vie—Montaigne, liv. i, c. 48. In the battle of Patay, Monstrelet says, “les François moult de pres mirent pied a terre, et descendirent la plus grand partic de leur chevaulx." In El Cavallero Determinado, an allegorical romance, translated from the French of Olivier de la Marche by Hermando de Acuña, Barcelona, 1565, this custom is referred to by Understanding, when giving the knight directions for his combat with Atropos.

o
En esto es mi parecer
Queen cavallo note fies;
Por lo qual has de entender
Que de minou no confies
Tu Iy moana y lien hazer.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

the young man conceiving a pride in his heart, beheld the standers-by with a more stately countenance than he had been wont. The archbishop of York who sat by him, marking his behaviour, turned unto him and said, a Be Glad, my good son, there is not another prince in the world that hath such a sewer at his table.” To this the new king answered as it were disdainfully thus: “Why dost thou marvel at that? my father in doing it thinketh it not more than becometh him, he being born of princely blood only on the mother's side, serveth me that am a king born, having both a king to my father and a queen to my mother.” Thus the young man of an evil and perverse nature, was puffed up in pride by his father's unseemly doings. But the king his father hearing his talk was very sorrowful in his mind, and said to the archbishop softly in his ear, It repenteth me, it repenteth me, my lord,

[graphic]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Note 180, page 45, col. 1. The sword of Talbot. Talbot's sword, says Camden, was found in the river of Dordon, and sold by a peasant to an armourer of Bourdeaux, with this inscription: Sum Talboti. M. iiii. C. Xllii. Provincere inimicos meos. But pardon the Latin, for it was not his, but his camping chaplains.—A sword with bad Latin upon it, but good steel within it, says Fuller. It was not uncommon to bear a motto upon the sword. Lope de Vega describes that of Aguilar as bearing inlaid in gold, a verse of the psalms. It was, he says, Mas famosa que fue de hombre ceñida, Para orasiones del honor guardada, Yen ultima defensa de la vida, Y desde cuya guarnicion dorada Hasta la punta la canal bruńida Tenia escrito de David un verso. Sellado de oro en el acero terso. Jerusalem Conquisunda. Note 190, page 45, col. 1. Fastolste, all fierce and haughty as he was. In the original letters published by Mr Fenn, Fastolffe

appears in a very unfavourable light. Henry Windsor writes thus of him:—a hit is not unknown that cruelle and vengible he hath byn ever, and for the most part withoute pite and mercy. I can no more, but vade et corripe eum, for truly he cannot bryng about his matiers in this word (world), for the word is not for him. I suppose it wolnot chaunge yett be likeleness, but i beseche you sir help not to amend hym onely, but every other man yf ye kno any mo mysse disposed.”

The order of the garter was taken from Fastolffe for his conduct at Patay. He suffered a more material loss in the money he expended in the service of the state. In 1455, 40831. 15. 7. were due to him for costs and charges during his services in France, a whereof the sayd Fastolffe hath had nouther payement nor assignation.” So he complains.

Note 191, page 45, col. 1.
Battle-axe.

In a battle between the Burgundians and Dauphinois near Abbeville (1421) Monstrelet especially notices the conduct of John Villain, who had that day been made a knight. He was a nobleman from Flanders, very tall, and of great bodily strength, and was mounted on a good horse, holding a battle-axe in both hands. Thus he pushed into the thickest part of the battle, and throwing the bridle on his horse's meck, gave such blows on all sides with his battle-axe, that whoever was struck was instantly unhorsed and wounded past recovery. In this way he met Poton de Xaintrailles, who, after the battle was over, declared the wonders he did,

and that he got out of his reach as fast as he could

Vol. v., p. 294.

Note 192, page 45, col. 2.
His buckler now splinter'd with many a stroke.

L'écu des chevaliers 6tait ordinairement un bouclier de forme a peu pres triangulaire, large parle hautepour couvrir le corps, et se terminant en pointe par le bas, afin d'être moins lourd. On les faisait de bois qu'on recouvrait avec du cuir bouilli, avec des nerfs ou autres matières dures, mais jamais de fer ou d'acier. Seulement il était permis, pour les empêcher d'être coupés trop aisément parles épées, d'y mettre un cercle dor, d'argent, ou de fer, quiles entourát.—Le Grand.

Note 193, page 46, col. 1.
Threw o'er the slaughter'd chief his blazon'd coat.

This fact is mentioned in Andrews's History of England. I have merely versified the original expressions. * The herald of Talbot sought out his body among the slain. “Alas my lord and is it you ! I pray God pardon you all your misdoings. I have been your officer of arms forty years and more: it is time that I should surrender to you the ensigns of my office. Thus saying, with the tears gushing from his eyes, he threw his coat of arms over the corpse, thus performing one of the ancient rites of sepulture.”

Note 194, page 46, col. 2.

Pour'd on the monarch's head the mystic oil.

The Frenchmen wonderfully reverence this oyle; and at the coronation of their kings, fetch it from the church where it is kept, with great solemnity. For it is brought (saith Sleiden in his commentaries) by the prior sitting on a white ambling palfrey, and attendo'

[merged small][ocr errors]

by his monkes; the archbishop of the town (Rheims) | gage, and the king, when it is by the archbishop brought

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

divinity bath oftentimes descended
Upon our slumbers, and the blessed troupes
Havo, in the calme and quiet of the soule,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

The Vision was originally printed as the ninth book of JoAV of ARC. The plan and execution of that Poem were equally faulty; it has been repeatedly and

- aloriously corrected; but as the only apology for the great and numerous faults which unavoidably remain, I request the reader to recollect that it was first written

at the age of nineteen, and published at the age of oneand-twenty. R. S.

BOOK I.

Orleans was hush'd in sleep. Stretch'd on her couch
The delegated Maiden lay; with toil
Exhausted, and sore anguish, soon slie closed
Her heavy eyelids; not reposing then,
For busy fantasy, in other scenes
Awaken'd : whether that superior powers,
by wise permission, prompt the midnight dream,
Instructing best the passive faculty;
Or that the soul, escaped its fleshly clog,
Flies free, and soars amid the invisible world,
And all things are that seem.

Along a moor, Barren, and wide, and drear, and desolate, She roam’d, a wanderer through the cheerless night. Far through the silence of the unbroken plain The bittern's boom was heard, hoarse, heavy, deep, It made accordant music to the scene. Black clouds, driven fast before the stormy wind, Swept shadowing; through their broken folds the moon Struggled at times with transitory ray, And made the moving darkness visible. And now arrived beside a fenny lake She stands, amid whose stagnate waters, hoarse The long reeds rustled to the gale of night. An age-worn bark receives the Maid, impell'd By powers unseen; then did the moon display Where through the crazy vessel's yawning side The muddy wave ooz'd in. A female guides, And spreads the sail before the wind, which moand As melancholy mournful to her ear, As ever by the wretch was heard Howling at evening round his prison towers. Wan was the pilot's countenance, her eyes

Hollow, and her sunk cheeks were furrow'd deep,
Channell'd by tears; a few grey locks hung down
Beneath her hood, and through the Maiden's veins
Chill crept the blood, for, as the night-breeze pass'd,
Lifting her tatter'd mantle, coil'd around
She saw a serpent gnawing at her heart.

The plumeless bat with short shrill note slits by,
And the night-raven's scream came fitfully,
Borne on the hollow blast. Eager the Maid
Look'd to the shore, and now upon the bank
Leaps, joyful to escape, yet trembling still
In recollection.

There, a mouldering pile
Stretch'd its wide ruins, o'er the plain below
Casting a gloomy shade, save where the moon
Shone through its fretted windows: the dark yew.
Withering with age, branch'd there its naked roots,
And there the melancholy cypress rear'd
Its head; the earth was heaved with many a mound,
And here and there a half-demolish'd tomb.

And now, amid the ruin's darkest shade,
The Virgin's eye beheld where pale blue flames
Rose wavering, now just gleaming from the earth,
And now in darkness drown'd. An aged man
Sate near, seated on what in long past days
Had been some sculptured monument, now fallen
And half-obscured by moss, and gather'd heaps
Of wither'd yew-leaves and earth-mouldering bones;
His eye was large and rayless, and fix d full
Upon the Maid; the tomb-fires on his face
Shed a blue light; his face was of the Hue
Of death; his limbs were mantled in a shroud.
Then with a deep heart-terrifying voice,
Exclaim'd the spectre—s Welcome to these realms,
These regions of Despair O thou whose steps
Sorrow hath guided to my sad abodes,
Welcome to my drear empire, to this gloom
Eternal, to this everlasting night,
Where never morning darts the enlivening ray,
Where never shines the sun, but all is dark,
Dark as the bosom of their gloomy king.”

So saying he arose, and drawing on,
Her, to the abbey's inner ruin, led
Resistless. Through the broken roof the moon
Glimmer'd a scatter'd ray; the ivy twined
Round the dismantled column; imaged forms -

- - - - - ------------------"

Of saints and warlike chiefs, moss-canker'd now
And mutilate, lay strewn upon the ground,
With crumbled fragments, crucifixes fallen,
And rusted trophies. Meantime over-head
Roar'd the loud blast, and from the tower the owl
Scream'd as the tempest shook her secret nest.
He, silent, led her on, and often paused,
And pointed, that her eye might contemplate
At leisure the drear scene.

He dragg'd her on
Through a low iron door, down broken stairs;
Then a cold horror through the Maiden's frame
Crept, for she stood amid a vault, and saw,
By the sepulchral lamp's dim glaring light,
The fragments of the dead.

* Look here !” he cried,
* Damsel, look here! survey this house of death:
O soon to tenant it! soon to increase
These trophies of mortality! for hence
Is no return. Gaze here ! behold this skull,
These eyeless sockets, and these untlesh'd jaws,
That, with their ghastly grinning, seem to mock
Thy perishable charms; for thus thy cheek
Must moulder. Child of grief shrinks not thy Soul,
Viewing these horrors trembles not thy heart
At the dread thought, that here its life's-blood soon
Shall stagnate, and the finely-fibred frame,
Now warm in life and feeling, mingle soon
With the cold clod? thing horrible to think—
Yet in thought only, for reality
Is none of suffering here; here all is peace,
No nerve will throb to anguish in the grave.
Dreadful it is to think of losing life,
But having lost, knowledge of loss is not,
Therefore uo ill. Haste, Maiden, to repose:
Probe deep the seat of life.”

So spake Despair.

The vaulted roof echoed his hollow voice,
And all again was silence. Quick her heart
Panted. He drew a datter from his breast,
And cried again, a Haste, Damsel, to repose !
One blow, and rest for ever !» On the fiend,
Dark scowl d the Virgin with indignant eye,
And dash'd the dagger down. He next his heart
Replaced the murderous steel, and drew the Maid
Alout; the downward vault.

The damp earth gave
A dim sound as they pass'd: the tainted air
Was cold, and heavy with unwholesome dews.
« Behold on the fiend exclaim'd, to how gradual here
The fleshly burden of mortality
Moulders to clay!, then fixing his broad eye
Full on her face, he pointed where a corpse
Lay livid; she beheld, with loathing look,
The spectacle abhorr'd by living man.

« Look here!» Despair pursued; a this loathsome mass
Was once as lovely, and as full of life
As, Damsel thou art now. Those deep-sunk cyes
Once beam d the mild light of intelligence,
And where thou seest the pamperd Ilesh-worm trail,
Once the white bosom heaved. She fondly thought
That at the hallow'd altar, soon the priest
Should bless her coming union, and the torch
Its joyful lustre o'er the hail of joy
Cast on her nuptial evening : earth to earth

That priest consign'd her, for her lover went
By glory lured to war, and perish'd there;
Nor she endured to live. Ha! fades thy cheek?
Dost thou then, Maiden, tremble at the tale
Look here ! behold the youthful paramour!
The self-devoted hero!, -
Fearfully

The Maid look'd down, and saw the well-known face
Of Theodores in thoughts unspeakable,
Convulsed with horror, o'er her face she clasp'd
Her cold damp hands: “Shrink not,” the phantom cried,
& Gaze on for ever gaze on More firm he grasp'd
Her quivering arm : « this lifeless mouldering clay,
As well thou know'st, was warm with all the glow
Of youth and love; this is the arm that cleaved
Salisbury's proud crest, now motionless in death,
Unable to protect the ravaged frame
From the foul offspring of mortality
That feed on heroes. Though long years were thine,
Yet never more would life reanimate
This murder'd youth; murder'd by thee! for thou
Didst lead him to the battle from his home,
Else living there in peace to good old age :
In thy defence he died: strike deep destroy
Remorse with life.”

The Maid stood motionless,
And, wistless what she did, with trembling hand
Received the dagger. Starting then, she cried,
« Avaunt, Despair : Eternal Wisdom deals
Or peace to man, or misery, for his good
Alike design'd, and shall the creature cry,
‘Why hast thou done this?’ and with impious pride
Destroy the life God gave to

The fiend rejoin'd,

• And thou dost decm it impious to destroy
The life God gave? What, Maiden, is the lot
Assign'd to mortal man born but to drag,
Through life's long pilgrimage, the wearying load
Of being; care-corroded at the heart;
Assail d by all the numerous train of ills
That flesh inherits; till at length worn out,
This is his consummation'—think again!
what, Maiden, canst thou hope from lengthend life
But lengthend sorrow If protracted long,
Till on the bed of death thy feeble limbs
Stretch out their languid length, oh think what thoughts
What agonizing feelings, in that hour,
Assail the sinking heart! Slow beats the pulse,
Dim grows the eye, and clammy drops bedev
The shuddering frame; then in its mightiest force,
Miglitiest in impotence, the love of life
Seizes the throbbing heart; the faltering lips
Pour out the impious prayer, that fain would change
The Unchangeable's decree; surrounding friends
Sob round ille sufferer, wet his cheek with tears,
And all he loved in life embitters death !

« Such, Maiden, are the pangs that wait the hour
Of calmest dissolution | yet weak man
Dares, in his timid piety, to live;
And, veiling Fear in Superstition's garb,
He calls her Resignation'

- Coward wretch
Fond coward; thus to make his reason war
Against his reason : Insect as he is,
This sport of chance, this being of a day,

« ZurückWeiter »